Stephane Labrunie, I-Play's VP of European Sales, recently told an audience of game developers that, "this market will sell more games on mobile than traditional consoles in 2006." That's a pretty remarkable statement, but not totally implausible. Labrunie supplied the following numbers in his speech: 1.8 billion game-enabled handsets by 2008 and 1.7 billion paid downloads by 2010. This is part of a worldwide trend away from console games. In Japan, for the first time this year, portable gaming devices outsold consoles.
But will there really be more mobile games sold this year than console games? Probably not, but it will be close. And it will be quite a long time before mobile game revenues match those of console games, where titles cost almost 50 times as much. (See FierceGameBiz's take on Labrunie's remark too).
P.S. On behalf of my colleagues at FierceWireless, FierceMobileContent and FierceGameBiz, I'd like to invite you to Oasis, a networking party scheduled during CTIA in L.A. next month. The party runs from 6-9 p.m on September 12 at the Marriott Pool Gardens, a quick walk from the convention center. If you were one of the 900 people to show up last year, you know that FierceMarkets knows how to throw a party. RSVP online. -Eli